#Why Guanghua# is a special feature on our MBA students' stories with Guanghua School of Management. Chris comes from the United Kingdom and works in the financial science field for over five years. As a young manager of Pioneer Robot, and also a co-founder in blockchain sector, what made him come to China and choose Global MBA program at Peking University? What insights he has gained from studying and living in China? Let's read his story.
Hometown: Birmingham, UK
Previous School and Major: University of Westminster-Chinese with International Relations
Most Recent Employer and Job Title:Commercial Partnerships Manager-Pioneer Robot
Q: Can you give us a brief introduction of your experience?
After finishing my undergraduate studies, I spent the following 5 years working in the Financial Services industry, predominantly in the City of London. I worked mainly with derivative products in various functions from Client Management to Compliance. In 2018, I left the Financial Services industry to co-found a blockchain start-up and I spent the next year and a half learning about the future of finance and payments. I was very fortunate to work with a great team of likeminded and ambitious young Chinese entrepreneurs; with whom I have a great friendship until today.
Q: What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career?
I think that after all of my work experience so far, I really felt that it was time to retrain and get back into education. My undergraduate degree was great and I enjoyed it very much but it did not really prepare me for the career path which I eventually chose. This meant that much of what I have learnt throughout my career has been ‘on the job’. Timing also played into it. I was finishing with one job and found myself deciding whether I wanted to find another job or do something very different. I chose the latter.
Q: What was the key factor(s) that led you to determine on Guanghua instead of other school, and why was it so important to you?
I have been a student of the Chinese language and culture since my early teens and I have made sure that in my career so far I have had the opportunity to use my language skills. As I made the decision to apply for an MBA, it made perfect sense to me that I should look to China for my education. China is a phenomenal country and has already taught me so much. China is leading the world in so many fields and I believe will continue to do so. I wanted to surround myself with the future business leaders of China and with fellow international students, all of whom have their own varied and interesting connections to China.
During my application process, I spoke with several Guanghua students to understand their perspective and to ask them for their opinions about Guanghua. I was very impressed with the positive responses I received. This combined with the excellent attention to detail and care from the Admissions Office, made my choice very easy.
Q: Do you think Guanghua will help with your career? If so, why?
Yes, definitely. Guanghua has not only provided me with excellent academic training in all areas relating to management, but it has also provided many opportunities to learn about China as well as how to work effectively in multicultural teams. The lessons learnt both inside and outside the classroom, will prove invaluable in my future endeavours.Being part of the Guanghua family, you really feel part of a wide international network of excellent individuals.
Q: What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why?
I believe there are at least two qualities: resourceful and resilient.Our class has faced unique challenges this year due to the Covid pandemic. With students physically in China and dotted all over the world spanning all time zones, we have come together to try to make our MBA work and we have succeeded.This experience has made us more resilient and will stand us in good stead to tackle challenges in the future.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Due to the Covid pandemic and the long lockdown we have experienced, I actually had to think to remember what I liked to do during my spare time! I love to travel, which I can’t wait to do again. I also love to cook. I am always trying to perfect my recipes!
Q: What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are?
I think life is full of moments that help to shape and guide you. I’d like to think that my ‘defining’ moment is yet to come. Find me in 10 years and ask me again!
Q: What’s the plan after graduation / where do you see yourself in ten years?
This is a hard question to answer. However, what I do know is that I want to remain closely connected to China. I am very interested in the developments in technology across China. A particular interest for me is in the HealthTech space and this is an area I am keen to explore after graduation.